Brew Lab (7925 Marty St., Overland Park, Kansas) plans to open its expanded brewery, homebrew supply shop, taproom and restaurant by late June, pending occupancy inspections.
Clay Johnston, Justin Waters, Kevin Combs and Matthew Hornung co-founded Brew Lab in 2013 at 8004 Foster St. Homebrewers could shop for supplies and also use Brew Lab’s equipment to brew beer in the shop. Last year, the owners began building out a larger space near the Overland Park Farmers’ Market to add a brewery and restaurant into the area.
Max Carroll, former lead line brewer at Free State Brewing Company in Lawrence, Kansas, heads Free State and its three-barrel system. The planned opening lineup of beers includes West Coast Australian IPA, Rosemary and Rye Belgian Saison, Chocolate Porter and Ginger IPA.
“We’ll have many guest taps, as well, while we get up to our capacity,” Johnston said.
The restaurant will feature small plates. The “American tapas,” menu will have meatloaf sliders, Buffalo cauliflower, Sriracha shrimp, and chicken and waffles. The new space will also have a Saturday brunch to coincide with the adjacent farmers’ market.
After some construction delays, Johnston and his business partners “are excited to finally put all the pieces together.”
“The original Brew Lab was such a quick success, but it was missing the space and amenities to really make the experience what we knew it could be,” Johnston said. “[Here] our customers will literally be brewing alongside us and be part of the process.”
Beer Candles Make Good Scents
Marsha Flowers, a candlemaker for more than two decades, and Carrie Atkins launched Barley & Hops Craft Scents candle line, after being inspired by the aromas of craft beer.
Flowers and Atkins visit craft breweries to taste, smell and talk beer. Then they hone in on the key flavors and aromas of craft beer, such as hazelnut, malt, chocolate, espresso, hops and fruit, and replicate them in candle form. The candle labels mirror the craft beer artwork found on the brewery’s cans, bottles and tap handles.
Barley & Hops have created candles based on beers from Torn Label Brewing, Boulevard Brewing, Odell Brewing, Martin City Brewing and other breweries. For instance, the candle based on Cinder Block Brewery’s roasted chocolate porter has “notes of soft milk chocolate, lightly roasted nuts and brown sugar, followed by faint dark caramel tones, creamy malts and exotic dark fruits.”
New Beer is Here
Kansas City Bier Company (310 W. 79th St.) has a new release, Doppel Alt, a style of ale or “alt,” that’s popular in northern Germany. Now, Kansas City’s craft beer drinkers can experience Doppel Alt’s copper color, toasted and caramel malt flavors, assertive bitter finish and citrus aroma.
Free State Brewing Company’s latest seasonal release, Post Rock Pilsner, is a German-style pilsner distributed in six-pack bottles. Bread, biscuit-like aromas of German Pilsner malt, a spicy, pepper finish from German Saphir hops, and the citrus spice character of Crystal hops are defining characteristics.
Fringe Beerworks (224 SE Douglas St., Lee’s Summit, Missouri) has released Tight Rope Tart and Tight Rope Pineapple Tart, both Berliner Weisse styles. Also, Big Top Wheat is back on tap. Look for Fringe at the KC Nanobrew Festival on June 24th.
Double Shift Brewing Company (412 E. 18th St.) will release its Kellerbier around mid-week.
Torn Label Brewing’s High Tai returns bigger and better. Brewery co-owner Rafi Chaudry described the beer as “a dank, Mai Tai-inspired East Coast IPA brewed with lime zest, orange peel, cherry juice and hops from New Zealand.”
The original version, released more than a year ago, was a taproom-only offering in Torn Label’s Rough Draught Series. This year, High Tai will be on tap at the brewery (1708 Campbell St.). Also, Torn Label will release four-packs of 12-oz. High Tai cans, beginning at 5 p.m. on June 15 at the brewery, with limited distribution to follow.
— Pete Dulin writes about food trends for Flatland and is the author of the “KC Ale Trail.” Follow @FlatlandKC and #TapList on Twitter for more food news and trends.